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June 9, 2006   

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Olympiastadion Berlin: Focus of a billion eyes

To call the Berlin Olympic Stadium historical would be an understatement.

Located in the West of Berlin, the Olympiastadion Berlin (as it is known) actually boasts two stadia: the present facility, and one built for the 1916 Summer Olympics that was aborted when World War I broke out. Both were designed by members of the same family -- the first by Otto March; the second by his son Werner, who was one of Adolf Hitler's architects.

The stadium suffered some damage during World War II, the Russian army fought to capture it in 1945, it was occupied by the British army after the war, and saw American sprinter Jesse Owens win four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. And yet, despite all it has been witness to, 2006 may well be its biggest, brightest year.

This is, after all, where the 2006 FIFA World Cup final will be held.

Image: View of the press center and 2006 football World Cup village at the Olympiastadion (back) in Berlin 26 May 2006.

Also See: Compelete coverage of World Cup 2006

Text: rediff News Bureau, Photographs: Getty Images

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